My mental health issues and my boyfriend

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Anonymous #1
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So to give some general background, I have a minor form of anxiety and occasionally suffer with low-mood (bf only knows about the former). I have a difficult domestic situation with one of my parents being emotionally abusive and another terminally ill, and do get to go away to uni but still have to return at holiday time.

I've had anxiety for a while now, but doesn't affect my relationship lots. I did once have an anxiety attack when I completely freaked out and effectively stormed out of my boyfriends house without speaking to him and walked home because I'd had a tough day at home and then I'd been invited round to his, where all that happened was we had sex and he fell asleep which in my mind translated to he only wants to be with me for sex and break up will be coming soon. I hope my hands up completely that it was irrational and stupid and that night I walked straight back to his and apologised. He then came out about his mental health and admitted he'd lied to me for a year and a half and then asked to go on a break so he could sort these out. I got mad at this because I felt he was sabotaging the relationship by not being completely truthful (whereas I told him from the very beginning about my anxiety) and then decided to take the decision out of my hands (he came out with "you deserve better and shouldn't have to deal with this" - my fiery independent side came out). The break lasted 45 minutes and I go a very apologetic text - all was forgiven but these things are difficult to get over and 6 months later I still sometimes wonder if he just wanted to see if life was better of without me). Otherwise I have not let my anxiety affect the relationship and in fact hidden it a lot in an attempt to prevent it from ruining anything.

Recently I was joking around with my fella and he said "I just want a simple life" to which I jokily replied "and yet you date me " To which he replied "you said it not me".... I know I said it and it was stupid but he tells me I'm not a psycho gf and I'm not controlling (in the two years we've been together hes gone on three "lads" holidays - would never stop him from doing this). I don't know why but it rattled me and makes me think I'm a bad girlfriend who might be single soon... I know that its difficult not knowing the people in the situation, but can people tell me if this is my anxiety or not?
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username1726117
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Get treatment for your anxiety; it will be the bane of your relationship. Your boyfriend should also seek help.

Anxiety translates situations into your own "twisted" perception. Believe me, I've experienced it myself and from others. It's not nice, and it won't help if you go on like this. For example, you broke up for 45 minutes but believe he wanted to see "what it was like" without you. Come on, think about it.

It's both your issues, without a doubt. Get 'em sorted and you'll have a happy relationship.
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Anonymous #1
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Believe me I am trying. I don't let him see the level of my anxiety so that he actually commented the other day when we were talking about it "your anxiety isn't bad at all". I'm not saying I have major anxiety but I overthink things a lot - I just don't show him.

Yeah he wanted to go on a break to see if he could sort his issues out but then decided that I was the best thing for him and that we would sort them out together. Do you think its my anxiety making me think that or do you think he actually wanted to see what it was like?

Thank you so much for your reply and your honesty it really is appreciated - sometimes brutal honesty from a stranger is the best sort of medicine :P
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Anonymous #1
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Pinkberry_y
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Agree get some treatment for the anxiety: go see your uni councillor or your GP.
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username2791212
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I'm currently receiving treatment for my anxiety (no medication). An important thing I have learned is that you may never be able to get rid of your anxious thoughts. In fact, having anxiety is often a big part of who we are and becomes part of our personality because it's hard to distinguish worry and stress from anxiety when the former can trigger the latter.

Everyone experiences worry and stress, our worry and stress is accompanied by anxiety. And sometimes our happiness is accompanied by it too (ever had a wonderful day and suddenly you feel like you're being punched in the chest and you can't breath? Hello anxiety).

However, just because you may always have these concerning thoughts, you don't always have to react to it in the same way. I have always had anxiety for as long as I can remember and it definitely DOES put you in a strange mindset.

My anxious thoughts have not gone. They've improved with therapy, building my confidence and such. But they are still very much there.
Honesty has been incredibly helpful + having a very understanding boyfriend who doesn't want me to change (or at least not for him).

Honesty means that when I am feeling something irrational i.e - "I'm worried my boyfriend is going to leave me because of x reason". I tell him. I tell him everything in my brain, no matter how crazy it sounds.

Having a very understanding boyfriend meas that instead of him getting angry, or demanding I get therapy, or insisting it's tearing the relationship apart...I get hugs, a shoulder to cry on, a ear lended and reassurance that no matter how much I worry I'm not loved - I am.

Do you have a strong relationship? And are you willing to love each other just as you are, mental illnesses and all?
Because if so then you can do this.

Yes, he lied.
Talk about it. Ask him why he lied but reassure him that he doesn't need to. BE there for each other. Lying to you might not have been okay, but it is understandable considering the nature of the lie. Give him that understanding.

Your biggest friends when freaking out are honesty and calmness. Resolve that you will not act until you are calm again. Even if that means being asked to be left alone until you're ready.

There are times I'm sobbing in the bathroom because of crippling anxiety. Those are the times I choose to sit alone and not make any decisions and not talk to anybody.

Just because we are anxious doesn't mean we are incapable of being rational. We are not twisted or warped in our perceptions of reality. We just need to develop ways to cope and surround ourselves with people who understand, love and care about us.

Your boyfriend might not be it. Maybe he is. Decide that. I also think you should apply for some counselling/therapy. It will help immensely.

Edit and to clarify.
If your boyfriend makes a joke that upsets you- be honest. If he cares he will reassure, explain and likely be more sensitive in the future.
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username1726117
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Believe me I am trying. I don't let him see the level of my anxiety so that he actually commented the other day when we were talking about it "your anxiety isn't bad at all". I'm not saying I have major anxiety but I overthink things a lot - I just don't show him.

Yeah he wanted to go on a break to see if he could sort his issues out but then decided that I was the best thing for him and that we would sort them out together. Do you think its my anxiety making me think that or do you think he actually wanted to see what it was like?

Thank you so much for your reply and your honesty it really is appreciated - sometimes brutal honesty from a stranger is the best sort of medicine :P
Fundamental aspects of a relationship are communication and honesty. With one or the other, or both, things can fall apart quite quickly. I can understand perfectly why you would choose to hide your anxiety from your partner, but ultimately you want your partner to understand and accept the real you; and from understanding and acceptance comes love and support.

The problem with anxiety is a lot of the time it makes it difficult to see things for how they truly are. For example, I've spent over a year in therapy and one of the issues I discussed was how I believe people are not interested in me. Throughout the course of my treatment, it was evident that because of the bullying I suffered when I was younger when I was secluded from my peers, that I had developed a "default" state of mind where I automatically assume disinterest. It's a hard state to get out of, but I'm getting there. In your case, there's no credible evidence to show he wanted to see what it was like without you. Non of us can say for certain. By your own admission, the anxiety has lead you into undesirable situations before (eg. Storming out of his house), and it's safe to say the same with this train of thought. Unless there is proof to the contrary, try and put this doubt at rest.

I can sympathize with you, but I must also caution you. Anxiety can have a very negative impact on relationships, and you should do your best to find a solution to deal with it. Therapy, medicine, self-help books...anything you can try, I suggest you do so.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Pinkberry_y)
Agree get some treatment for the anxiety: go see your uni councillor or your GP.
Just emailed my uni councillor

(Original post by PandaCalavera)
I'm currently receiving treatment for my anxiety (no medication). An important thing I have learned is that you may never be able to get rid of your anxious thoughts. In fact, having anxiety is often a big part of who we are and becomes part of our personality because it's hard to distinguish worry and stress from anxiety when the former can trigger the latter.

Everyone experiences worry and stress, our worry and stress is accompanied by anxiety. And sometimes our happiness is accompanied by it too (ever had a wonderful day and suddenly you feel like you're being punched in the chest and you can't breath? Hello anxiety).

However, just because you may always have these concerning thoughts, you don't always have to react to it in the same way. I have always had anxiety for as long as I can remember and it definitely DOES put you in a strange mindset.

My anxious thoughts have not gone. They've improved with therapy, building my confidence and such. But they are still very much there.
Honesty has been incredibly helpful + having a very understanding boyfriend who doesn't want me to change (or at least not for him).

Honesty means that when I am feeling something irrational i.e - "I'm worried my boyfriend is going to leave me because of x reason". I tell him. I tell him everything in my brain, no matter how crazy it sounds.

Having a very understanding boyfriend meas that instead of him getting angry, or demanding I get therapy, or insisting it's tearing the relationship apart...I get hugs, a shoulder to cry on, a ear lended and reassurance that no matter how much I worry I'm not loved - I am.

Do you have a strong relationship? And are you willing to love each other just as you are, mental illnesses and all?
Because if so then you can do this.

Yes, he lied.
Talk about it. Ask him why he lied but reassure him that he doesn't need to. BE there for each other. Lying to you might not have been okay, but it is understandable considering the nature of the lie. Give him that understanding.

Your biggest friends when freaking out are honesty and calmness. Resolve that you will not act until you are calm again. Even if that means being asked to be left alone until you're ready.

There are times I'm sobbing in the bathroom because of crippling anxiety. Those are the times I choose to sit alone and not make any decisions and not talk to anybody.

Just because we are anxious doesn't mean we are incapable of being rational. We are not twisted or warped in our perceptions of reality. We just need to develop ways to cope and surround ourselves with people who understand, love and care about us.

Your boyfriend might not be it. Maybe he is. Decide that. I also think you should apply for some counselling/therapy. It will help immensely.

Edit and to clarify.
If your boyfriend makes a joke that upsets you- be honest. If he cares he will reassure, explain and likely be more sensitive in the future.
Thanks for your post. You are completely right. I've done a lot of deep thinking and come far in the past few days - this needs to be sorted.

My boyfriend is great but he prefers to deal with his problems on his own and this confuses me...

I just don't want to be a nagging girlfriend or over-sensitive one. Apparently one of his friends already think I'm nagging (surprise surprise he has never had a gf) but I have a reputation for letting things go (minor things not like cheating) and have a rule that my fella has to have done something 4 times before I mention it.

Think you are right... I'm going to couselling



Thank you so much for your kind words and being so understanding. You are completely right. I can't take medication (due to my current hobbies) but am looking into counselling and will look into self-help books. Its nice to talk to someone who understands...
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